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24th March 2011 19:00

Liverpool Reserves v Everton

Following Monday's 2-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers second string boss Alan Stubbs had asked his team to combine a good performance with a positve result against Liverpool at Anfield in the Barclay's Premier Reserve League, and for 45 minutes he got just the response he'd been craving.

Everton stormed into a 2-0 half time lead with Greek striker Apostolos Vellios heavily involved in laying on goals for Adam Forshaw and Conor McAleny.

Blues' keeper Connor Roberts also saved a penalty from Michael Roberts, and the visitors looked in complete control.

But after the Reds introduced Toni Brito Silva at the break, the home side burst back into the game and goals from Jesus Fernandez and Nikola Saric meant the fixture ended in a hugely entertaining draw.

David MoyesBlues boss David Moyes watches on at Anfield.

The Blues were forced into two changes from the side that started the defeat at Blackburn, Shkodran Mustafi and Shane Duffy were both away on international duty, meaning Tyias Browning and Jake Bidwell stepped into defence - Aristote Nsiala moved to centre half.

The visitors started the game brightly with a five man midfield that looked to press Liverpool at every opportunity.

With just two minutes on the clock, the Blues fed Vellios who stung the palms of Martin Hansen from long range.

Liverpool's early threat came almost exclusively down their right flank, and on 12 minutes Saric just failed to control Jonathon Flanagan's fizzing cross.

Five minutes later Everton took the lead in spectacular fashion. Vellios smartly chested the ball into the path of Forshaw who curled a stunning effort past the helpless Hansen from 25 yards out.

The home side searched for an equally impressive leveller and on 26 minutes Fernandez found some space on the edge of the area, only to shoot inches over the cross-bar.

Soon after Everton's evening took a turn for the worst when Jose Baxter pulled up with an injury, and had to be replaced by Tom Donegan.

On 41 minutes Liverpool worked a free kick well on their left hand side but Steven Irwin failed to control his shot when well placed inside the area.

Just a minute later Everton scored the second goal of the game with Vellios playing an integral part in the build-up.

The Greek striker's flick-on dropped perfectly for Conor McAleny who fired the ball into the roof of the net.

Connor McAlenyConnor McAleny fires Everton 2-0 ahead.

In first half stoppage time Liverpool were awarded a debatable penalty as Aristote Nsiala collided with Jack Robinson on the left hand side of the box.

But the spot kick that followed from Michael Roberts lacked both power and precision and Connor Roberts saved to his left.

Silva then replaced defender Conor Thomas as the home side threw caution to the wind in search of a route back into the game and on 55 minutes his effort was well tipped wide by Roberts.

From the resultant corner Silva's shot was blocked, and Roberts did well to deny Irwin as the ball looped kindly into the forward's path.

But Everton couldn't keep the Reds out for much longer, Jesus Fernandez found the bottom corner from 20 yards for 2-1.

Liverpool almost levelled from the restart as Silva raced clear only to put his effort wide of the post.

With 25 minutes to go the home side did equalise, the Reds' front three were causing havoc, and Nikola Saric found some room inside the penalty area to fire low past Roberts into the far corner.

The Reds were now rampant and on 69 minutes Connor Roberts again had to be alert to deny Silva. Another clever ball into the channel found the substitute, but Roberts darted off his line to extinguish the danger.

As the game entered the final five minutes Liverpool went close to finding a winner. Thomas Ince jinked clear down the left but Silva couldn't convert his low cross.

In stoppage time Everton pressed forward, but the closest they came to a third goal was a looping header from Nsiala from a right wing corner.

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